“One only understands the things that one tames,” said the fox

Thank you for all your support! I was embarrassed because I freaked out. I had difficulties dealing with my feelings. There were so many emotions: fear, happiness, anxiety, worries, euphoria… wonder why I couldn’t sleep last night. I feel better today, meaning I’m more stable. I’m more and more convinced I made the right decision. I woke up this morning and realized I had become a mother. I couldn’t think about anything else than my little babies. I wasn’t happy though, but very worried: do they have earache? Do they get good care? Does the staff have enough time for them? Did they eat? Do they ever get out of their cage? Are they bored, depressed, fearful?

Unfortunately, I mixed up the opening hours of the shelter. I thought they were closing at 7 pm, but it’s already at 6 pm. I was at the shelter at 5.30 pm, so I had only 30 minutes. But tomorrow I’ll have more time! I plan on coming at the same time every day. As far as I understood, cats can recognize day rhythms. I thought it’d be a good thing to give my visits some regularity, and I hope I can give my cats some confidence.

Now this is a bit cheesy, but whatever. I remembered The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, and how he met the fox.

“Please–tame me!” he said.

“I want to, very much,” the little prince replied. “But I have not much time. I have friends to discover, and a great many things to understand.”

“One only understands the things that one tames,” said the fox. “Men have no more time to understand anything. They buy things all ready made at the shops. But there is no shop anywhere where one can buy friendship, and so men have no friends any more. If you want a friend, tame me . . .”

“What must I do, to tame you?” asked the little prince.

“You must be very patient,” replied the fox. “First you will sit down at a little distance from me–like that–in the grass. I shall look at you out of the corner of my eye, and you will say nothing. Words are the source of misunderstandings. But you will sit a little closer to me, every day . . .”

The next day the little prince came back.

“It would have been better to come back at the same hour,” said the fox. “If, for example, you come at four o’clock in the afternoon, then at three o’clock I shall begin to be happy. I shall feel happier and happier as the hour advances. At four o’clock, I shall already be worrying and jumping about. I shall show you how happy I am! But if you come at just any time, I shall never know at what hour my heart is to be ready to greet you . . . One must observe the proper rites . . .”

“What is a rite?” asked the little prince.

“Those also are actions too often neglected,” said the fox. “They are what make one day different from other days, one hour from other hours. There is a rite, for example, among my hunters. Every Thursday they dance with the village girls. So Thursday is a wonderful day for me! I can take a walk as far as the vineyards. But if the hunters danced at just any time, every day would be like every other day, and I should never have any vacation at all.”

I know, it’s fiction, but I believe that there’s something to this. The brown-white cat was again hiding in her box. I played for about 15 minutes with the darker cat. She seemed to remember me, she was head-butting and very eager to play. After a while, I put the toy in front of the box. It was so great – she slowly started to play with me as well! My heart opened up and I felt pure happiness. (Yes – we ARE continuing the cheesy road today!).

cat in sheltershy cat animal shelterplaying shelter cat

Eventually, she came out of her box and head-butted. Then she came really close to my face and gave me a nose kiss! Yesterday I got one from the darker cat, but not from her.

Her sister (let’s just assume they’re sisters. Nobody knows) was taking a rest on the lower shelf.

rescue cat

Well, now the cheesy parts ends. I took another toy, and it made some noise they didn’t like. They got scared and escaped to the higher shelf. GNARG!!! I was so angry at myself, but Ok – I learned an important lesson. I remained sitting on the floor and continued talking in a calm voice until I had to go. It felt really awkward leaving them in their small cage.